New Music for Old People: Browning Bryant, The Intruders, SOHN, Meg Myers and More

By , Columnist

KONGOS

This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!

Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.

We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.

Apr182014 by Willow on Grooveshark

1. "Cover Girl" — Browning Bryant (2:36)

This is from an LP from the '70s I had endeavored for years to find on CD to no avail. I mentioned it in an interview with James Reed, a music writer at The Boston Globe, and damned if he didn’t send it as a gift in the mail shortly thereafter. I met Allen Toussaint at a festival a couple of years ago. He produced this album and wrote many of the songs on it, including this one, as well as adding his majestic keyboard playing. I told him how much I loved this song and he smiled at me and started singing it to me. If he didn’t forget it, how can you?

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"Well, I don't SOUND anything like Jim Morrison, at least..."

2. "Adelaide" — Meg Myers (2:53)

I had a crush on Adelaide Reed in high school but she never knew. This is an Adelaide with a different agenda. Meg has been in the column once before and she has no fear lyrically of telling the absolute truth as she does in this story. I like that about her and this track is very well done.

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"I think I've played my last trunk show..."

3. "Take Me Back" — KONGOS (3:09)

Another former column subject with another great track from their recently released debut album, Lunatic. I love the way their accordion player solos and here’s another nice one on this track as well. This is just a well-made recording of a good song that’ll tickle your ears all the way from South Africa where they’re from.

4. "Waves" — Marjorie Fair (3:40)

This record fooled me for quite awhile. I had gender curiosity about the singer. The band is named Marjorie Fair. At first I thought it was a guy singing but the lyric has him/her addressing someone as “silly boy.” So then for awhile I thought it was a woman with a lower range singing. NOW I read the bios, and there’s no wimmens in this band and their name refers to a type of rose. But meanwhile I have grown to enjoy this track, so here it is for all you silly boys and girls. It may grow on you.

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"One large fries and four waters? We're doin' much better than last year ... and the pickles are free here ... c'mon guys, just a little smile?"

5. "Mother and Child Reunion" — The Intruders (3:09)

This was a group that helped found Gamble and Huff’s soul empire, Philadelphia International Records. Their major hit was "Cowboys to Girls," which garnered them a gold single in 1968. Their version of Paul Simon’s song is pretty darn good but there is one error that drives ME nuts! One of the high points of the lyric to me was that TMACR was “only a motion away.” Now they sing that at first but then change it to “only a moment away,” which was the cliche that Simon avoided. But I guess that's why they were called The Intruders. Short of that grievous error, this is a good soul cover — although I would have gone more reggae with it and kept the motion in.

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"We got a mutha fuh ya, Cooper!!!"

6. "Keep On" — Scott Simons (2:23)

Scott Simons started out as the front man and primary songwriter for a pop quartet from Morgantown, West Virginia called The Argument. The band was active from 1997 to 2006, and then Scott went his own way as a songwriter and solo performer. He signed with indie label Rostrum Records in mid-2006. Currently, he's living in southern California where he's part of a musical duo called TeamMate, the other half of which is his former girlfriend. In addition to recording and performing with TeamMate, he also writes songs for other artists.

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7. "For Your Precious Love" (Live) — Jerry Butler & The Impressions (2:37)

Here's a foundational track from the late '50s performed live by the original artists. The amazing part is that everyone sounds as fresh as the day it was recorded — Curtis Mayfield’s intricate guitar licks and signature high harmony and Jerry Butler’s amazing lead vocal. It's a wonderful thing to hear again and a most welcome rarity — in perfect stereo, of course.

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8. "Artifice" — SOHN (2:21)

A London-based singer-songwriter named Christopher Taylor applied his singing and songwriting to electronica tracks and caught on big. This is from his first album Tremors, just released a few days ago. Will this be just British big, or will it go worldwide? What sayest thou?

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9. "Heart on a String" — Candi Staton (2:54)

A blast from the past from Candi with producer Rick Hall and the fabulous, fabled Fame Studios crew at Muscle Shoals in 1970. This was actually the B side of a single release but caught more plays than the A side. There is a double album that has every track she recorded at Muscle Shoals. Now THAT is worth owning! This is in my top three, however. And she looked so good (see below), singer Clarence Carter married her as soon as he could — and he was blind!

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10. "As the Years Go Passing By" — Al Kooper (6:02)

I always loved this song and started doing it live. I cut it one night with my backup band. I played organ and they played rhythm guitar, bass and drums. I think it was one take. Then I strapped on my red Gibson Flying V guitar and sang and played at the same time. Also one take. The whole mess was done in a half-hour. A week later I overdubbed the background singers. It was all done in Columbia Studios, New York City, warts and all. I like it because it displays just exactly what I was doing in this time period (1972). A good closer for this week (hopefully).

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This is what I actually looked like at the time. And this was ten years before Prince hair.

You can sign up for Al Kooper's mailing list right here.

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